Well, it’s one step forward and two steps back on Planet DRA, same as it ever was. I’ve been trying and failing to warm up to the Ryan Adams album for a couple of months, but things were looking up with “Jacksonville” — a lovely little non-album seven-inch that followed the album, and the best thing I’d heard out of Ryan in eons.
“Jacksonville” was good enough to make me hold out some hopes for its followup seven-inch, “Vampires,” which is out just in time for Halloween and yay for that. But seasonally appropriate release-date timing is about all “Vampires” has going for it, because all four of these songs pretty much fully suck. The beyond-grating “Clown Asylum” is the worst offender, but they’re all so lazily executed that I can’t figure out why he even bothered unless this is an experiment in finding out just how blindly devoted his fanbase really is.
Kind of a cool cover, though. I guess.
ADDENDUM (12/10/2014): Next up in Ryan’s seven-inch series is “Do You Laugh When You Lie,” which is marginally better than “Vampires” but not by much (or at least not enough).
AND SO ON (6/23/2015): “Burn in the Night” is decent, but the “Cop City” B-side wastes a pretty cool Pete Townshend-style riff on super-stupid lyrics (“Eddie & the Cruisers/They were from Mars/And they all survived on chocolate bars”). At least the third track, the “1984” outtake “Look in the Mirror,” is an actual song and not a wanky goof.